A new chapter

The story of our lives is an epic novel, right? If that’s the case, then I’m turning the page to the next chapter.

Today is a special day in this next chapter, because it’s World Tourism Day.

I know you are thinking, “yeah, yeah Jenny, it’s just another one of ‘those days'”. And I’d usually agree with you.

But this time, I’m not going to. For a few reasons:

  1. Tourism {AKA travel}, is one of my passions in life. If I were a billionaire, I would spend all of my time traveling to other parts of the world.
  2. THIS World Tourism Day is a special one for me… because I’m launching my new career as a travel agent!

Why a travel agent, you ask? It combines my love for travel, my love for helping and serving other people and a few skills I’ve gained over the years like researching, planning, and organizing.

Not to mention, I get to do this job out of my home, so I get to be available for field trips {while they’ll still have me, ha!}, pick-up, drop-off, and the itty bit of homework I can still help with. I mean, this fifth grade math is making me question if I learned ANYTHING in grade school!

Essentially, I want to be people’s go-to travel gal.

  • You want me to book your cruise, flights, hotels, rental cars or any other travel adventure? I’M ON IT.
  • You want me to come up with some ideas for an upcoming spring break or summer trip you have planned as a family or a couple? I’M ON IT.
  • You want me to get your spring break trip to Phoenix planned because you know you will be ready for rest, relaxation and let’s face it –WARMTH? I’M ON IT.
  • You love Disney, and want to plan a cruise, park visit or other Disney adventure? I’M ON IT.
  • You are dreaming of a Game of Thrones overseas travel experience? I’M ON IT {and yes, that exists!}.

Essentially, I want to bring your life the joy of travel. I’ll do that as a travel agent, if you’ll have me. I’ll bring the joy, plus make it easier AND hopefully cheaper for you to go on that next trip.

AND! I’ll still be writing here too! Just expect that travel will be a key part of how I write about ‘handling life with joy’.

So tell me…on this WORLD TOURISM DAY. Where do you want to go next?

a year off.

I took a year off.

The problem is, I didn’t realize I was doing that until the year was over. I figure I would have enjoyed it a bunch more if I took it for what it was… ‘a year of rest’. I turned 40, moved to Arizona and took what my body and mind likely needed — and I was lucky enough to be able to experience — a year of transition and settling in.

I was hard on myself though. Worried I wasn’t working on anything. I’d write a blog post every 3-6 months. I felt like I wasn’t contributing. And for some reason, in my mind… that is evidently a great sin.

So. I’m letting go of what I thought were missed expectations of myself over the last year, and accepting the year for what it was.

Now, it’s on to the next chapter. Taking my passion and my skills and bringing them together to serve others. Excited to share that with you later this week!


I’m not huge on resolutions, mostly because I never really stick with them. But the ‘word of the year’ movement? That I can get behind.

My word for 2019? 


Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

About five years ago I chose the word “enough”, meaning who I was at that moment was enough.  I was enough of a mother, a wife, a friend, and a person.

Somewhat similarly, this year I want to focus on the fact that the person I am today is a pretty great person. A person who doesn’t need all kinds of improvement. Doesn’t need to ‘become this’ or ‘grow to be that’.

I don’t want to tally the amount of money I’ve spent over the last eight or so years on ‘self-help’ books.  Or what I could have bought with all that money….

{Oh…all the purses.}

Not that those dollars have all gone wasted.  I’ve learned a bunch from them. AND I still have some books left to read as well.  But in 2019 I’m not buying any new self-help books.  Now THAT is a resolution I think I can stick to.

Instead, I’m going to spend the year focusing on the positive attributes that I already have, along with the skills I’ve learned over the years.  I’m going to shine a magnifying glass on the good and make them great.

Here are just a few examples….

I’m a good writer.  So I’m going to write more. I’m going to focus on it, and ensure that it is a priority.

I’m a great memory-keeper.   I’m going to intentional about keeping my families memories.  On this blog, in photo books, in pictures throughout our home and more. 

I’ll share more as the year progresses, but I’m curious…how about you? What’s your word for 2019?

What I forgot to pack…

Hey friends!  I’ve been quiet, haven’t I?  Probably not smart for a brand new blog.  But not to worry – my hope is more regular posting from here on out.

The reason I’ve been quiet?  There are a few things I forgot to pack when we moved from Minnesota to Arizona.

Joey in a box

No, not Joey.  We remembered him.

I am actually not sure what kind of box I would have used for the two things that I forgot:

Motivation.   And discipline.

Drive to an office every day, get stuck in traffic, rush to pick the kiddos up from after school care to get them to sports, scouts or church?  During a day like that, I can find motivation and discipline.

But give me an open schedule and sunshine?   Ha!   It’s gone.

It seems a little counterintuitive to me.   Lazing around, watching hours of daytime television (the talk shows mostly…although I am learning that many of my favorite Days of our Lives characters are alive and well) and having constant access to my fridge and pantry should lead to gobs and gobs of joy.

But not so much.

Instead I reach the end of a day feeling defeated – even though I haven’t really done anything to feel ‘defeated’ over.   After some reflection, its because I have a passion and a purpose for myself – to be a writer – and I’m not fulfilling that passion and purpose.

Ducks In A Row Collage 1

So I’m taking action.   I’m working my way back to look like the girl in the pics above.  We were living in Europe, I had two LITTLE kiddos (that baby is now almost eight and that little leather jacketed dude is almost 10), but I was feeling way better about myself.

Those were the days that I was the most slender I’ve been in adulthood.  I know, I know – it isn’t about the number on the scale.  But how I’m eating and drinking and being active does matter.

And you might be wondering how that ties into writing?

When I get up in the morning and move first thing it kick starts that motivation that I forgot to pack.

And motivation and discipline help get me #backtojoy.  Good intentions create good moods.  And happy moms.  And happy kids….but that’s a post for another day.

Abe Lincoln Quote“But wait. Jenny!  What’s the action you are going to take?” you might be asking right now.   Well,  I’m going to take part in a lifestyle challenge that starts next Monday.  It’s all based on a book called “Game On” (linked on Amazon).  It involves:

  • Regulating your eating (either counting calories, going Paleo, WW, etc. etc.)
  • Exercising 20 minutes a day
  • Drinking 100+ oz of water per day
  • Taking on one good habit (for me it’s make sure I’m dedicating myself to meditating and devotionals)
  • Losing one bad habit (no eating in front of that darn TV)
  • Communicating — you play on a team, and you have competitors.  ‘Cause…the best part?

You could win money.   Are you interested?

Seriously.  Think about it.  We start Monday and it is really easy to take part – a $40 ‘buy in’ and we aren’t selling anything.  It’s literally a private group on Facebook with a lot of great people who want to be more healthy – cheering each other on and competing to get the most points each week.  You could get that $40 back at the end of four weeks PLUS more.



Come on…

You know you want to.

~ ~ ~

Comment below, and let me know so I can get you more info!

Tell you more?

So you want me to tell you more about my plan for the blog, don’t ya?   What you can expect to hear from me, and all of that good stuff.

Well, I’m all about giving you what you want…so here you go:


I’m going to give you a bunch of joy.   That’s all.

box cheerful color cute

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ha!  Just kidding.

There’s more.

I’ve thought about joy a bit recently, and I feel like there are a few different ways to approach this subject, and to find joy.

Joy Makers:   These are moments and the things {and the all of the good stuff} that make us joyful.  I think I’ll reprise our on-going bucket list; because checking items off of that always made for joyful moments for our family.  Not only that, but this will be when I share just overall life stuff.   PLUS!   I’m working on a healthier lifestyle, because friends — even as much as I hate to admit it, when I’m being healthier…I’m more joyful.

Joy Givers:  People {Ellen Degeneres…my hero, Will Smith), books (The Bible, The Secret), movies, TV shows…all that good stuff that brings me joy?  I’m going to share it with you…so hopefully it can give you joy as well.

Joy Seekers: Hoping that I’ll get a chance to collaborate with other bloggers and writers that are seeking joy and positivity.  These are the posts that would highlight them and share their motivation and missions.

And let’s be frank.  No one is joyful 100% of the time, especially me.  So I’m going to share that with you to, and we can work together on getting #BackToJoy.

~ ~ ~

So tell me… what are you hoping I write about?   Tell me all the things!

My new ‘job’

For a girl who’s blogged before, I’m nervous about this.

Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone.  Taking risks like that – that is what life is.  – Amy Poehler

meThat’s me, nervously pointing at the computer.   Or giving a thumbs up?  Or maybe both…

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to be at home rather than trudge in a car, bus or train to a full time job.   It’s the opportunity to follow my dream, and become a writer.

The thing is, the hardest thing for me, as I make my way down this new road is to call myself a writer. I question: When will I actually be a writer?

black ball point pen with brown spiral notebook

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

Last week, as I was volunteering at the kiddo’s school someone asked “do you stay at home?”  My answer immediately was “yes”, with a quick under the breath “and I’m doing some writing as well.”

My hope is that very soon I’ll be answering those questions, with “Yes, I work at home as a writer” and not feel like a fraud.


Is there something you are thinking about taking a chance on?  What is it?   What is holding you back?

Life: Handle with Joy…begins.

And so it begins.  Another blog.

I blogged a few years back when our family lived in Europe and I was at home with two toddlers.  It was about our adventures overseas, and checking off items on my bucket list.

You know…handling life with joy, via adventures!

From July of 2013 through August of 2017 I was working full-time + and didn’t focus my time on writing.   But the entire time I was still in pursuit of joy.

So here we are, meeting again – this blogging world and me.  My goal here is to share the joy in my life, and build a community where we are all in the pursuit of finding joy and handling each day with the reminder that joy exists all around us.

Does that sound too cheery??

sunset sun horizon priroda

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I get that not all days are sunshine and flowers.  But when we are in pursuit of joy…when we are intentional about living a life with joy, it can be easier to locate the sunshine and flowers.


What are things in your daily life that you can always count on as “sunshine and flowers”?   Your goofy, funny kids?  A favorite coffee drink?  Share in the comments below!